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Beginner to Weight Training - Review of My Workout?

Hello everyone,

I’d really appreciate some feedback on the workout I’ve put together. To say I’ve found the whole “weight training” thing hard to wade through is putting it mildly. I’ve recently joined a great gym where they seem to have every machine you can imagine (Hammer Strength, LifeFitness, Nautilus, Maximums, etc. - I was dizzy at the choice). I wanted to put a simple routine together that targets all my muscle groups. I’m really not comfortable using the dumbells or plate-loaded machines at this time, I’d prefer to stick to the typical workout machines (which I also very much enjoy).

I’ve recently lost 60lbs (from 210 down to 150) and I think I have just a little more to go. I now have the “courage” to go to the gym :slight_smile: My current workout schedule is:

  1. Yoga 2x week
  2. Buns of Steel 1x week (combination of a ton of varied squats and front/side/back lunges)
  3. Callanetics 1x week (isolates muscle groups using tiny, precise movements at high reps)
  4. P90x Ab Ribber 2x week

I’d like to add some weight training but I’m really overwhelmed by all the machines and all the muscle groups they exercise. I went to the gym I just joined last night and have looked pretty lost as I tried to put a routine together. I’ve come up with this so far, and I “think” it seems to do a pretty good job of working out all the major muscle groups but I’m not entirely sure:

Upper Body

ISO-Lateral/MTS High Row (Hammer Strength)
ISO-Lateral Incline, Decline, or Chest Press? which one??? (Hammer Strength)
ISO-Lateral Shoulder Press (Hammer Strength)
Lateral Pulldown (LifeFitness)
Back Extension (LifeFitness)

Lower Body

Seated Curl (LifeFitness)
Leg Extension (LifeFitness)
Seated Leg Press (LifeFitness)
Hip Abduction (LifeFitness)
Hip Adduction (LifeFitness)
Back Extension (LifeFitness)
Glute Machine (Maximus)

I must say I LOVED each machine, especially the High Row. If I could get some feedback on if I’m on track of way off track I’d really appreciate it. My goal is to be lean/toned with a lightly sculpted look. Not interested in bulk and want to try and keep it as simple as possible. I was confused whether to do the ISO-Lateral Incline, Decline, or Chest Press - they all seem similar?

Thank you VERY much in advance :slight_smile:

Since this is in the beginners’ section, I’ll be helpful. Check out this thread:

Also, are you a female?

Yes, I am. I did look at the link you posted, as well as reading both articles there. To be honest, in terms of translating it to a workout myself on machines I didn’t find it terribly helpful (there’s also some assumptions that people who are totally new to this will understand some of the terminology). My preference is to use the basic machines (rather than free weights ore plate-stacked weights).

I tried my best to pick machines that seemed to cover all of the muscle groups. The employee at the health club wasn’t really helpful in answering questions. I asked for help understanding the difference between the Lateral Incline, Lateral Decline, and Chest Press - they all seem similar and the employee at the gym said they are basically the same. After doing a bit of research, I’m still not sure how different each is.

The different chest machines just hit different aspects of your chest, not something you really need to worry about yet.

Upon further inspection, I would say completely ditch the adductor/abductor work. It’s not going to help you at all.

What’s your diet look like?

Ok, thank you. Then I’ll pick the one of the three I like the most.

My diet went from being a train wreck to being very decent. When I was 210lbs it was a lot of junk food. I lost the weight by cutting out the junk food and instead eating huge plates of all types of veggies, eggs, protein shakes, fruits, and nuts. I did an eca stack for the first 3 weeks which depressed my appetite to such a massive degree that I was able to keep on track long enough to change my eating habits within the 3 weeks. I recently bought a juicer and now juice a whole bunch of veggie each morning and each afternoon.

I was hoping the adductor/abductor machines would help with outer thigh cellulite :slight_smile: I’m really happy with my progress so far. I have very little weight left to lose and now want to focus on firming up. Weighs are not something I’m familiar with so I’m really excited to incorporate them and see changes in my body shape. I was so used to being overweight that now it’s a whole new world that’s opened up.

You can’t really spot reduce, I suppose if you enjoy the adductor/abductor and it doesn’t get in the way of real exercises then keep doing them.

Don’t take this as an insult, but there’s no such thing as firming up. There’s losing fat or gaining muscle. Both of which you can do.

Well, I’d supposed that gaining muscle on the outer and inner part of my legs would help smooth out the cellulite a bit. Most of the fat seems to be gone from there, but the cellulite doesn’t appear to be getting any better. My thought was to build up a little muscle there to try and smooth it out.

I just don’t think that those two exercises are actually any use for adding muscle.

chimera182 is right, you can’t spot reduce, and building the muscles there won’t “smooth out” the cellulite. That said, everything you do to increase your muscle mass will increase your metabolism, because while cardio work burns calories while you do it, muscles will continue to burn calories at rest.

I was a rower in college, so we really emphasized developing leg strength. While I prefer dumbells and body weight exercises, when I used machines, I really liked the leg press, squat machines, and calf raise machines. I never personally saw much benefit from the adductor/abductor machines, so I stopped using them. Focus on the big muscle groups for now, and later on you can branch out into the specialized muscle exercises.

Also, definitely keep up with the yoga and pilates work. These will help stretch and strengthen your muscles, and develop your core strength so that your lifting routine is more effective. And congratulations on all of your successes so far!

Awesome, thanks so much for all your help :slight_smile: